NAOMH Muire captured the Southern Board’s Under-14 Division 2 Championship crown with a dominant win over Naomh Columba in Ardara.
Naomh Muire 2-09 Naomh Columba 1-03
Jay Doherty’s goal midway through the first half gave them a platform for the victory and with a six-point interval advantage they weren’t going to let the silverware slip from their clutches.
Doherty powered home a second goal after Paul O’Hehir scored a fortuitous three-pointer at the other end.
The Lower Rosses side had lost the Regional League final to Kilcar, but stormed their way into the Championship decider, where they made their mark from early in the tie.
While Eric Carr won and pointed a free for Naomh Columba in the third minute, it wasn’t long before Naomh Muire turned the screw.
Eoin Martin’s raking delivery set Fintan Doherty up for the equalising score and when Jay Doherty and Joey Gillespie clipped over Naomh Muire moved into the driving seat.
Jay Doherty curled over for a three-point lead and a 16th minute goal by the number 14 put a little daylight between the teams.
Doherty raced in on the right-hand side and beat Colin Doherty, the Naomh Columba goalkeeper, with the deftest of chips into the far corner.
Tuathal Lunny boomed over a massive score from distance and the boys from the Banks led by six, 1-5 to 0-2, at the short whistle, with a second free from Carr the only addition to the Naomh Columba tally.
Gillespie added to the lead, but there were anxious moments for them when Naomh Columba midfielder Nathan Cannon cut a swathe through the Naomh Muire rearguard only to pull a powerful effort just past the far post.
A magnificent Eoin Martin score, landed from the most difficult of angles, put the deficit out to eight points and there seemed no way back for the Glencolmcille side.
Doherty did well to hold onto a brave effort by Shane Boyle, but Lunny made it an eight-point game with a fine hit from long range.
When O’Hehir’s speculative effort dipped over Aodhan Gillespie for a goal that was scarcely believable until the green flag was hoisted, Naomh Columba briefly dared to dream, but there just wasn’t enough time for them to mount a comeback.
Just for good measure, Doherty added his second goal, two minutes from the end, to torch the bonfires in Annagry.
After a scramble in a crowded goalmouth, Doherty smashed to the roof of the Glen net and it was all over bar the shouting. Deep into added time, Doherty fired into the side netting with a chance of bagging his hat-trick, but the Cup was already on its was for the Rosses.
Naomh Muire: Aodhan Gillespie; Dominic Byrne, Noah Boyle, Michael Greene; Fintan Doherty (0-1), Shane Boyle, Conor Hanlon; Tuathal Lunny (0-2), Hugh Sweeney; Mairtín Mannion, Peter McGee, Joey Gillespie (0-2); Eoin Martin (0-1), Jay Doherty (2-3), Owen Boyle. Sub: Eoin Glynn for Martin (60).
Naomh Columba: Colin Doherty; Odhrán McGinley, Sonny Curran, Pauric Hegarty; Johnny McGinley, Joseph Lyons, Thomas Byrne; Oisin Byrne, Nathan Cannon; Owen Carr, Eric Carr (0-3f), Aaron Byrne; Fergal O’Neill, Ruairi McGinley, Paul O’Hehir (1-0). Subs: Emmet O’Gara for O.Carr (29).
Referee: Declan Callaghan (Kilcar).Tags: